Tuesday, 12 July 2022

The End of the Eaglemoss Dream?

Drafts in process, pics taken and then today's news finally broke.

After a storming run of collectible items, the world of Eaglemoss came plummeting down when news finally broke that the business was going into administration.

My thoughts go out to all the people who will be directly affected possibly with the loss of jobs and also to those collectors and fans out there who may now not be able to complete their collections or even worse, their part-works including the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D. 

Existing in some form or another since 1975, Eaglemoss in recent years has been synonymous with Star Trek replica ships, plaques, graphic novels and more as well as further licenced collections in properties such as Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica and Marvel

My association with the brand has been since the arrival of the almost legendary The Official Star Trek Starships Collection that began back in 2013. I still remember getting that very first issue and then acquiring the whole series plus the XLs, specials, bonuses and a lot of other bits besides. We've had our gripes about the quality at times but the quantity delivered over the years has been second to none with some of the latest additions being among their best ever.

I've loved opening those brown boxes and discovering the intricacies of another ship from Star Trek and then sharing my thoughts through this site over the last nine years but for the time being I will be putting any further reviews on hold. Talking about products you can't actually get would seem, in my opinion, in extremely bad taste. In fact it's rare I post without some form of picture to accompany but this just isn't the time to show "what you could have won" if you pardon the expression.

The last couple of years have been very hard on a lot of businesses and examination of the financial records via Companies House up to 2021 do not make for fantastic reading. Piles of debt, reductions in repeat business, loss of customers; all of which make for some pretty torrid reading and signs of a company that's not having the best of times.

As you might expect, there's a lot of anger out there from customers waiting on pre-orders, those with unfinished part works and those even just waiting for some of the models that have been announced and delayed.

In some respects we should have seen this coming. The XL Stargazer was pushed back from September to November, the Expanse range went cold after not even a handful of issues, there were almost no new product announcements for several months. The last sale which ended on Sunday had some of the most mind-boggling discounts I have ever seen on the site and most certainly took advantage of. For me a red flag dropped when everything I ordered which was due for arrival on Monday turned up less than 18 hours after ordering on the Saturday morning.

Even worse was Monday when the shop went into "maintenance" right across the group and the customer services team went completely silent. If you check out the HeroCollector site their last article was published on the 6th June with Facebook and Twitter accounts equally falling silent.

I mused with friends that it might be some technical issue, maybe streamlining or a complete revamp but hours turned into a day and then two before the imminent administration was announced. The optimistic approach it became clear was not the one to go with.

I for one will be sad to see them go. At times the customer service was atrocious, the quality of the items barrel-scraping to hilarious but somehow they always managed to pull it back - apart from now. For many collectors this will leave a horrible hole in the heart and the wallet because there really was nothing much like it especially when it came to Star Trek replicas. 

We can but hope that there will be a buyer and that Eaglemoss will rise from this horrendous low to fulfil those items it has promised to its customers and in many cases taken money for. Rumour suggests that IF anyone did take over then all these part work series would have to be restarted from issue one leaving many with half built Enterprise-D's that will never be finished. Even more kicking is that those building ECTO-1 were but two months off finishing the whole thing.

There may be a future for the business, we may see those models and there could well be the mother of all clearance sales but at the moment there's certainly a bitter taste in anyone's mouth who has spent money with Eaglemoss on whatever franchise they love. 

For now though my thoughts genuinely go out to those people who will have lost out in some way - any way - by today's news. I do hope that there is a decent end to your final interactions with Eaglemoss in its current form. Could this be the writing on the all for such businesses given today's financial climate? People after all do not have the same disposable income they had five years ago when the collections were at their height. Maybe Eaglemoss will come back but a big part of me suspects that this won't be the Spock-like resurrection we all would desire.

Where are you at with the news? How have you been affected? What does the future hold for this type of business?

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  1. With the deplorable delivery times and customer service it comes as no suprise that this was happening! I always ordered from sites like Amazon and Big Bad Toy Store (US). It took months for recent issues to come to those sites after the previous issues

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Yep, the hit and miss nature of the business always concerned me. It could at times be a lottery on what state a delivery might arrive in if at all (still have a DS9, Excelsior and Defiant I'm waiting on from 2014). BUT they were one of the few to provide such an extensive range. I had a look back at the MicroMachines range last night nd it was a bit of a kick to spot a couple that definitely got away from Eaglemoss!

  2. Their quality control was terrible. Especially when you were paying $20 for a tiny die-cast model. Half of the models were badly mis-aligned, with things like warp nacelles being stuck on at the wrong angle. Prices doubled over the Collection's lifetime. They were however the only game in town, with nobody having made models of most alien ships, otherwise that level of quality wouldn't have been accepted for as long as it was.

    Now I guess we go back to the same 10 Star Trek ships getting released over and over, like before, rather than a choice of 150. Enterprise TOS, Enterprise Refit, Enterprise D, Enterprise E, Excelsior, Voyager, Klingon Bird-of-Prey, Romulan Warbird, Ferengi Marauder.

    I wonder if their huge commitment to making models for NuTrek played a part too. Who honestly wanted ships from Discovery, given it's reputation for damaging the franchise, among long time fans? Especially the increasingly stupid future ships that had free-floating non-attached engines; seemingly deliberate disregard for fan concerns again, as they are a model maker's nightmare.

    1. All the DISCO ships were reduced to a tenner here in the UK for months and months. I imagine sales were poor.

    2. Original UK price was £9.99 and I think by the end the bonus editions which were the same size were priced between £18.99 and £24.99. There were issues, by god were there. Sensor dishes lopsided, engines at all angles and the windows could be more miss than hit but as you've noted, there was nowhere else that offered what they did. Will I ever need to shop for any starship type ever again? Probably not. Am I a bit peeved that we've just got teased with the Caretaker Array and the Reman scout; absolutely.

      As for Disco. That was a horribly hit and miss range. I have just purhased - as in T-minus 48 hours - a few of the Klingon ships at stupid prices. The quality is great however you can argue that the love/hate relationship towards it and the massive price hike for the Disco ships can't have been favourable. With the 32nd Century stuff they did what they could. Voyager-J and the Disco-A plus the other couple they managed to get out weren't perfect. The nacelle attachments were clunky but the show had written them into a modelling corner. Again, there were several blink-and-miss background ships that they did that no-one really wanted to bother with.

  3. Here in the US I know some subscribers were put on an accelerated schedule in the last few months as I was one of them and I also popped for the premium build. As I never received any of the listed items for which the premium surcharge was supposed to include I have submitted disputes for all charges on my cc as far back as the bank would allow for merchandise not received. EMC has 45 days to respond to the dispute or it stands and that money is credited back to the buyer. Let’s face it, given the situation EMC isn’t going to respond. When my disputes clear I will have recouped approximately 60% of what I’ve paid for the build thus far. It isn’t going to make me whole, but it does take some of the sting out of it. My advice for everyone else in the US is to do the same thing. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act the minimum time to file a dispute is 60 days, though many banks extend beyond the minimum, with many at 90 days and some all the way up to 180. I got ripped off for a fairly large sum by the Anovos disaster, so I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let Eagle Miss do the same thing without a fight.

    1. Good on you. I heard the Anovos thing was pretty horrific as well. One thing I've never done with EM is pre-order. It scares me especially after all the world-breaking events of the last few years. All of the TBC stuff was shunted back two months minimum. Genuinely I'm pissed for anyone who did a part work series because unless someone kick starts it (more than likely from issue 1) then it's pretty much defunct.

      Thanks for dropping on to comment. I hope you have success in recouping the costs.